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REMEMBER NOW THY CREATOR.

WHILE to youth and health and gladness Beats the life-pulse strong and high; While no bitter tear of sadness

Comes to dim the beaming eye; Ere corroding cares intrusive

Vex the soul and shade the brow; Life's enchantments prove delusive: Turn to thy Creator now.

Linger not till life is wasted,

And youth's warm affection chill'd; Ere thy lips the cup have tasted,

Which the grace of God hath fill'd; Till the grave, no more at distance, Flings its shadows, damp and dim :A frail remnant of existence

Is no offering worthy Him.

Come, ere faithless words are spoken,
Friends like summer birds depart;
Ere the links of love are broken

Earth entwines around thy heart.
Turn, oh turn, where wreathed with glory
Thy Redeemer's cross appears;
O'er his sweet, yet mournful, story
Shed thy earliest, softest tears.

Come with contrite hearts, and lowly;
Come like the returning dove;
Guided by the Spirit Holy

To the ark of Jesus' love.

In the glow of life's sweet morning,
With its freshness on thy brow,
And its rose thy cheek adorning :
Turn to thy Creator now.

A CHILD'S EVENING PRAYER.

JESUS, tender Shepherd, hear me,
Bless thy little Lamb to-night;
Through the darkness be thou near me,
Keep me safe till morning light.

Through this day thy hand has led me,
And I thank thee for thy care;

Thou hast warm'd me-cloth'd and fed me,
Listen to my evening prayer.

Let my sins be all forgiven,

Bless the friends I love so well;

Take me, when I die, to heaven,
Happy, there with thee to dwell.

ABRAHAM AND ABIMELECH.

"And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and sojourned in Gerar. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister : and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife. But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me; therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live : and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine. Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears; and the men were sore afraid.

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"And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and men-servants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife. And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee. And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver behold he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other. Thus she was reproved.

"So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maid-servants; and they bare children. For the Lord had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife.

"And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest: Now therefore sware unto me here by God, that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned. And Abraham said, I will swear. And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away. And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing; neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to-day. And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech and both of them made a covenant. And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves? And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they be a witness unto me that I have digged this well. Wherefore he called that place Beer-sheba; because there they sware both of them. Thus they made a covenant at Beer-sheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines."-GEN. xx. 1-8, 14-18; xxi. 22-32.

ON the morning when Sodom was destroyed, Abraham rose up early, and looking toward the plain, he saw the smoke of the country going up as the smoke of a furnace. Then, he knew that his intercession for Sodom had been in vain, and that not even ten righteous men were found there.

Not long after this, he removed his tents to a place called Gerar, in the land of the Philistines. The reason for his removal is not known, but it has been thought that he could not bear the stench which arose from the lake of sulphur and other burning materials, which covered the place where Sodom and Gomorrah had stood.

As he removed, and came into a strange country amongst people who, he remembered, were like the Egyptians in their manners and customs (for it is supposed that the Philistines came from Egypt), Abraham was again tormented with foolish fears concerning his wife. He caused Sarah to take off her veil, by which every one who saw her would be led to think that she was not married, and then he gave out as before, that Sarah was his sister. I am sure that you must feel very much shocked to think of so old a man as Abraham doing this foolish thing again. How shocked must all his servants have felt when they saw that he and Sarah were telling another lie; and again losing their faith in God! May Abraham's conduct once more teach you, dear children, how easy it is to fall into sin. Then you will learn to watch over all your thoughts and actions more carefully.

L. Did God punish Abraham for his foolishness?

P. Yes, we read that he was visited with a misfortune exactly similar to that which happened in Egypt. Sarah was taken away from him. Abimelech, the king of Gerar, acted according to the custom of his country. Seeing that he was an Eastern king, with the privilege of doing just what he pleased, he did not see any harm in taking a man's sister for his wife, without asking his or her consent-and he did so.

You may read in the Bible how God came in the night to Abimelech, and told him the whole truth, and that Abimelech asked God not to consume him and his nation for such an act, because he did not know better. He said to God that he had done this "in the integrity of his heart, and innocency of his hands;" for," he added, "she, even she herself said, He is my brother." It is likely that Abimelech was very much afraid; and that when he asked God, "Wilt thou also slay a righteous nation?" that he was thinking of the dreadful punishment with which Sodom and Gomorrah had been visited.

Abimelech quickly returned Sarah to Abraham, and did not fail to give him the reproof which he deserved. Abraham, in reply, made some excuse, that he was afraid that he should be slain for Sarah's sake, and that he did not know that Abimelech feared God. He said, too, that it was true that Sarah was his sister, although it was only a part of the truth, for Sarah was the daughter of his father, but not of his mother. Abimelech acted like a king; he not only gave Abraham sheep and oxen, and men and maid servants, but, as he returned Sarah to Abraham, he told her that he had given her brother a thousand pieces of silver, which would be sufficient to buy her a good veil-such as a married woman ought to wear.

After the birth of Isaac, which you will hear of in our next lesson, Abraham and Abimelech had further intercourse. Abimelech had observed how God protected Abraham; and how his power and wealth increased, so that he was a prosperous man. He therefore wished that he might

always remain in Gerar, and that his own servants and the servants of Abraham might dwell together in peace. Abimelech, therefore, taking with him "the chief captain of his host," called upon Abraham, and offered to make a treaty with him. He spoke to him in these remarkable words :-" God is with thee in all thou doest. Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou will not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son; but ACCORDING TO THE KINDNESS THAT I HAVE DONE UNTO THEE THOU SHALT DO UNTO ME, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned."

Ion. Was that the treaty, papa?

P. Yes; and this treaty is worth learning by heart, for it is the first treaty of which we have any account in the history of this world. Abraham gladly agreed to such a treaty; but, before doing so, he reminded Abimelech of a matter which it was important should be set right. Abraham had dug a well for his own use; and in the desert the digging of a well is the most important work that a person can undertake. The well is thus valuable not only because it furnishes water for the sheep and cattle, but for the soil, which without the means for watering it, is useless; so, when a man had dug a well, he also had a right to the land around it, because he had furnished the means which would render it fit for cultivation. The law of the desert therefore was, that all wells were the property of the persons by whom they were dug, and their heirs for ever. When the party who dug the well was living near it, and using it, no person, except his own family and servants, might use it without his permission.

So, before making the treaty with Abimelech, Abraham mentioned to him that his servants had violently taken away his well from him, and requested that it might be restored. Abimelech, who wished only to do justice, consented to this immediately, and agreed that Abraham's right to the well should be mentioned in the treaty; thus showing, also, how immensely important is a supply of water in Eastern countries.

This matter being settled, Abraham and Abimelech swore to the agreements in the treaty, and were ever afterwards good friends. The well was called BEER-SHEBA, which means the well of the oath-this name was one which would always keep the treaty in remembrance. You will find that the plan of giving significant names to places was very general in early ages; it was very useful and almost necessary, seeing that men had not written documents for such a purpose.

L. Can you make a lesson from this account, papa?

P. Yes; I see a beautiful lesson, and one which you may always keep. Here is the first account of any public treaty. How pleasant it is to think that the first treaty was made, not to settle a dispute, but to prevent disputes. This treaty was made that they might preserve peace and live according to the law of God; and it contained these beautiful words, "ACCORDING TO THE KINDNESS THAT I HAVE DONE UNTO THEE, SHALT THOU DO UNTO ME." May all nations learn to make such treaties -may the nations who are civilized learn, from the "uncivilized" chiefs of the desert, that no tribes of man are too rude to feel the force of kindness; and you, dear children, try to please God by inwardly making such a treaty with all around you.

THE BIRTH OF ISAAC, AND DEPARTURE OF ISHMAEL.

"And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. And the child grew, and was weaned and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned,

"And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bond-woman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bond-woman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bond-woman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, (putting it on her shoulder,) and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-sheba. And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow-shot; for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept. And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water: and she went and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt."-GEN. xxi. 1-3, 8-21.

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IF you had gone to Abraham's tent, about a year after the sad destruction of Sodom, you would have heard sounds of joy and gladness. Laughter, and music, and praise to God were heard. All kinds of joy and thankfulness were seen in nearly every face; and, wherever you went, you would soon have been told the wonderful news, "Sarah, our mistress, has a son-we never expected that she would have a son!"

How long the servants rejoiced, or how much, I cannot say; but there was one who rejoiced very much indeed-more than all the others. L. You mean Abraham, papa.

P. Yes; and Sarah, perhaps, rejoiced quite as much. But there was one who rejoiced very little. Indeed, I should doubt whether she was glad at all; perhaps she sat alone, away from the others, in a quiet place, thinking melancholy thoughts. She would say to herself, "My son is now more than ten years old, and we have always thought that he would be the heir of his father Abraham. Ishmael, at his father's

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